Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine
Though one of the most powerful Deacons, Sorcha Faris has a tarnished reputation to overcome. She and her partner, Deacon Merrick Chambers, find themselves chasing down rumours of geists, but long for a return to real action. So they jump at the chance to escort a delegation sent to negotiate the terms of the Emperor's engagement. Their destination: the exotic city of Orinthal.
But a string of murders has Orinthal on edge, and Sorcha and Merrick are asked to investigate. Meanwhile the Emperor's sister has unwittingly released a cruel and vengeful goddess, one who it bent on destroying her enemies, including the geistlord who resides inside the shapeshifting rival to the throne - Sorcha's lover…
Spectyr is the second book in the Books of the Order series written by Philippa Ballantine, of which Geist was the first. Spectyr takes place a few weeks after Geist. I was very pleased with the creativeness that Philippa Ballantine showed in Geist, and hoped to see this back in Spectyr as well. Spectyr is a good sequel, though it proved for me a bit of unexpected after the colourful, action-packed debut Geist, I was expecting a similarly sequel, but in Spectyr there is lot of time spend explaining the pasts of several characters.
Again we follow the two Deacons, Sorcha and Merrick, and also The Young Pretender, Raed. What was for me directly notable from the beginning was that there was no time spend on revisiting several aspects of Geist but you are thrown directly into the new storyline of Spectyr, so it is handy that you read Geist beforehand so you get the idea behind the whole series. After the events in Geist, Sorcha and Merrick are charged with some menial tasks of removing the supernatural. But after one of those jobs, the plotline of Spectyr takes off and Sorcha and Merrick set off to travel and protect a delegation. Similarly as in Geist there are two storylines, the first focusing on Sorcha and Merrick and the second one on Raed. Raed is chasing down rumours to find his sister. But as in its prequel there are a lot of twists along the way that make it a interesting and fast paced story.
Like I mentioned, there is a lot more emphasis on the characters, which is always a nice bonus for me. I like it when authors take the time to make a sort of interlude book where there is more explanation about the pasts of the characters and the world. This allows for building a certain depth into the series. Sorcha is the main protagonist of the series and I already got to know here in the first book. And looking at Spectyr, you again see her strong female heroine personality and that she likes to take everything into her own hands, but also you see that she is becoming more and more dependent on her partner Merrick. The strong bond that they made is growing between them. In the storyline there were quite a few paragraphs in which she reflects that she really needs Merrick for her strength. I did find that on the characters there was a lot more going on with Merrick and Raed. Though Sorcha is still her interesting self she is not developing that greatly overall. There is a lot going on with Merrick and Raed and with both of them you get to learn about their pasts and what caused them to become what they are right now. I was especially drawn towards Raed’s somewhat emotional past and how he was forced from court and how he is now living his life, constantly in fear of what is within him. As for Merrick you see that he also has a troubled past and in Spectyr he is meeting up with some old family members that also show his compelling side. The cast was already strong in Geist but with the elaborations behind the characters of Raed and Merrick, Philippa Ballantine has added a great more depth into the storyline.
The setting of the book and the idea behind the series remained the same, but Philippa Ballantine played nicely into the already well constructed world of the series. Using the world to its fullest with what she has shown in Geist. In the build up to the end of the book there are again a few nice twists in the plotline. But what gave a nice feel overall was the wild talent of Merrick - man was I just hit there - something unexpected but just so coolly introduced into Spectyr, and now I really want to know what he can do since this is pretty dangerous, but I know Merrick will be a very cool character is this can be continued.
All in all I am more than pleased with the great continuation of the Books of the Order series that Philippa Ballantine has shown in Spectyr. Spectyr is a everything that was present in Geist but felt better in terms of using the characters and using the storyline and idea behind the book. There is a careful planning going on that looking back at Geist can be a great plot twist. In the end of Spectyr you are left in a very interesting position that really urges me to pick up the third book in the series, Wryath.
This Spectyr book review was written by Jasper de Joode
All reviews for: Book of the Order
Book of the Order #1
Book of the Order #2
Have you read Spectyr?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Spectyr reader reviews
8.4/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core o...
Charlie Keeper has been forced from her home by a bloodthirsty and terrifying stranger. But in escaping she discovers her house holds the gateway to the Realm of Bellania -...
The Tragedy Paper
Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition – they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave b...
The Very Best of Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint, a fantasy author who has left the same mark on the genre of myth and legend much as the likes of Sir Thomas Malory, Christian Anderson, Grimm, who has foun...
The Testament of Tall Eagle
John R Fultz
A young warrior's vision-quest unveils an alien city full of magic and mystery. As a tribal rift threatens to destroy Tall Eagle's people, night-crawling devils sta...
Out of Oz
The marvellous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on...
Alif the Unseen
G Willow Wilson
He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocr...
After an inexplicable catastrophe on Earth, John Bridgeman is left to scrap out a solitary existence, surrounded by bodies and haunted by the girlfriend he cannot allow to ...
R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass - remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone - are wonders ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, a...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...
The Court of Broken Knives
Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we pi...
With Blood Upon the Sand
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further t...